JILA and NRC postdoc Dr. David Jacobson was awarded the American Physical Society’s 2017 Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Biological Physics. The thesis prize is awarded for outstanding quality and achievement in any area of experimental, computational, engineering, or theoretical biological physics. While JILA has had great success with the APS Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Atomic, Molecular or Optical Physics, now named after Debbie Jin, this is the first time anyone associated with JILA has won an APS Outstanding Thesis Award from APS Biological Physics.
Jacobson was awarded the prize for pioneering studies of the electrostatic, elastic, and conformational behavior of single-stranded nucleic acids. For his thesis, done at the University of California, Santa Barbara under the supervision of Prof. Omar Saleh, Jacobson developed and experimentally tested a theory describing how charge repulsion affected the stiffness of the nucleic acids RNA and DNA.
The prize, consisting of a certificate and $1,500 split between two recipients, will be presented at the APS March Meeting Prize and Award Ceremony. Jacobson will give an invited talk during the APS March Meeting, held in Los Angeles, California, March 5 - 9, 2018.